A New Jersey high school senior caught the governor's attention by hopping on his treadmill at home.
Bobby Hoye got a shoutout from Gov. Phil Murphy on Wednesday after the Rumson-Fair Haven High School student ran an entire marathon in his home while livestreaming and raising money for healthcare workers on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic.
Many of Hoye's school events were canceled due to the coronavirus and the pandemic has impacted his training for the New Jersey marathon as well as an Ironman Triathlon. “The outbreak came and it changed everything. I wasn’t in the best state of mind," Hoye told NBC New York.
So the 18-year-old changed the one thing he could: his perspective. “I’m trying to use this as an opportunity to turn those negative things into something positive," he said.
With a little help from his best friend and hype man, Peyton Ming, Hoye took to YouTube on Sunday to raise nearly $6,000 for Jersey Shore University Medical Center's COVID-19 relief fund.
“Bobby is on his way! Let’s go…let’s get some congratulations! Let’s go Bobby!," said Ming, who appeared alongside Hoye on the livestream, cheering his friend on.
“When every donation came in, that was also a big motivator," Ming said.
Every $5, $10 and $50 donation counted. Supportive messages kept Hoye going, even if he had to take breaks along the 26.2-mile trek.
The teen eventually completed the marathon in 5 hours and 25 minutes. A few days later, Gov. Murphy thanked both Hoye and Ming for their efforts.
"Congratulations. New Jersey thanks you, and go Bulldogs," the governor said at his daily coronavirus news briefing.
More donations continued to roll in even after Hoye finished the marathon. The teens later got more donations and surpassed their goal on Wednesday night. Their new goal is to raise $10,000.
"It was really about bringing the community together and lifting us all up," Ming said. “As long as you have the dream and a little bit of determination, you can really accomplish much more than what you thought initially.”